One of my goals in writing Beyond the Battle: A man’s guide to his identity in Christ in an oversexualized world is to help men lose their desire for porn. To be able to go from, “I really want porn, though I know it’s bad, so will train myself not to look at it… though […]
Brian hopped on his laptop to see if any grad schools had gotten back to him yet. He knew he had just sent out his transcripts an hour before, and he knew that clicking the refresh button on his browser had no scientific ability to generate new emails that had yet to be written. But Brian’s job was really in the doldrums, and the hope of getting to funnel his pent-up energy toward a master’s degree and a new career field was exciting.
Not from grad schools at least. What did appear after the 5th time hitting the refresh button was the familiar weekly Ally email from Covenant Eyes that Brian received on behalf of his old college roommate Jonathan.
While Brian was sometimes tempted to delete these reports because of their familiarity and Jonathan’s long track record of success, he knew how important it was for Jonathan that he take a few seconds to open and check each one.
It was a good thing he did.
There was no ambiguity about the blurred images that displayed on Jonathan’s report this time. He had been looking at porn—and a lot of it.
I was hooked on porn as a Bible college student.
I fell back into it in the first years of my marriage.
I wanted to flee marriage and pursue a life of promiscuity.
As I clung to God through failure, his grace carried me through. He took me into paths of freedom. I had a story to share and I began sharing it…
…But here’s the thing: no matter how much freedom you experience in your sexual purity, Satan will never stop attacking you with temptation. When one type of temptation doesn’t work anymore, he just morphs and shifts to another. With the greatest temptation of all being that you no longer need to share your temptations and struggles with others.
I’m 37. This is relevant because you can tell a lot about someone’s sexual purity story by how old they were in the mid-’90s, also known as when the internet became as common in households as the telephone or television.
For me, this was 7th grade.
I’m a bit biased because of my own story and experience, but I can’t think of a worse combination than the onset of puberty and first-time access to the vast unknown of the World Wide Web.
Most of us, especially us guys, like to think of ourselves as tough, strong, and self-reliant. If I’m in trouble, I’ll get myself out of it. If I’m lost, I’m not asking for directions. If there’s a car on top of my chest, I’ll gather my gusto and push that sucker off, thank you very much. I’ll help you, but I’m certainly not in need of your help. This then bleeds in whenever we hear the topic of accountability broached by a pastor or in a sexual purity conversation. I don’t have a problem, and even if I did, I’d be able to figure it out myself.
When you think about all traps, the foundational lie that they sell is getting you to believe something is real that really isn’t. You’ve probably bought products you later regretted because the reality didn’t match what was promised by the advertisement. The classic is the beautiful real estate in Florida being sold for a great deal, only for the buyer to find out later it’s swampland that can’t be built on. The Proverbs 7 examples of animal traps would also match this, but in a deadly way. You put some bait in the trap, the animal walks in thinking it’s going to get a delicious meal. The delicious meal is the animal’s perceived reality. The cheese or peanut butter or chunk of meat looks and feels so real. In some ways it is real. But it’s a good thing placed in a destructive context. The true, ultimate reality, the only reality that actually matters, is death and destruction for this animal.
“…like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.” Proverbs 7:23
The bird would have never entered the snare if it knew it would die!
A lot of us who struggle with lust know this truth, yet continue to fall into its trap.
Read the rest of this article on the Covenant Eyes blog.